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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 5 | Polygonaceae | Eriogonum

120. Eriogonum sphaerocephalum Douglas ex Bentham, Trans. Linn. Soc. London. 17: 407. 1836.

Subshrubs, spreading to erect, infrequently polygamodioecious, 0.5-4 × 3-5(-6) dm, floccose or glabrous. Stems: caudex spread-ing; aerial flowering stems erect, slender, solid, not fistulose, arising at nodes of caudex branches and at distal nodes of short, non-flowering aerial branches, (0.3-)0.5-1 dm, thinly floccose or glabrous, with a whorl of 4-8 leaflike bracts ca. midlength or proximally, linear-oblanceolate to oblanceolate, 1-2 × 0.1-0.4 cm. Leaves in loose to congested basal rosettes; petiole 0.05-0.3 cm, floccose or glabrous; blade linear-oblanceolate, narrowly oblanceolate, or narrowly spatulate, 1-3(-4) × (0.1-)0.3-0.6(-1) cm, lanate or tomentose to floccose or glabrous, margins entire, plane or revolute. Inflorescences capitate, compound-umbellate, or umbellate, 1-2 cm wide or 1-5 × 1-5 cm; branches thinly floccose or glabrous; bracts absent immediately below involucre. Involucres 1 per node, turbinate-campanulate to campanulate, 3-4 × 2.5-4.5 mm; teeth 6-10, lobelike, slightly reflexed, 1.5-3(-5) mm. Flowers (5-)6-9 mm, including 1-2 mm stipelike base; perianth pale to bright yellow or cream to ochroleucous, villous abaxially; tepals monomorphic, obovate to oblong-ovate; stamens exserted, 4-6 mm; filaments pilose proximally. Achenes light brown, 3-4 mm, glabrous except for sparsely pubescent beak.

Varieties 4 (4 in the flora): w United States.

The Piute of Nevada have used a decoction of the root of Eriogonum sphaerocephalum (either var. sphaerocephalum or var. halimoides) to treat colds and diarrhea (P. Train et al. 1941).

1 Perianths bright yellow; inflorescences umbellate or compound-umbellate; ne California, sw Idaho, n and wc Nevada, e Oregon, and e Washington   120a var. sphaerocephalum
+ Perianths pale yellow to cream or ochroleucous; inflorescences umbellate, compound-umbellate, or capitate; ne California, sw or wc Idaho, c Oregon, and c Washington   (2)
2 (1) Leaf blades usually thinly floccose or glabrous on both surfaces; inflorescences umbellate or compound-umbellate; sw Idaho   120b var. fasciculifolium
+ Leaf blades tomentose on both surfaces, or floccose adaxially; inflorescence capitate or umbellate; ne California to nw Nevada, c Oregon to wc Idaho, and c Washington. [3. Shifted to left margin.—Ed.]   (3)
3 (2) Leaf blades usually narrowly oblanceolate to narrowly spatulate, margins plane; ne California to nw Nevada, c Oregon to wc Idaho, and c Washington   120c var. halimioides
+ Leaf blades linear-oblanceolate, margins usually revolute; nc Oregon, sc Washington   120d var. sublineare


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